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Crushes, Clubs, and Clarke: SAU’s Marin Tadrus’ Turbulent Soccer Career

Above: Marin Tadrus (right) poses with SAU teammate Jenna Fender (left). Photo courtesy of Marin Tadrus.

470 miles. That’s how far junior Marin Tadrus traveled almost every weekend before transferring to SAU. While on the surface, she may just be a reserve midfielder for the nationally ranked St. Ambrose University soccer team, under the surface junior Marin Tadrus’ story is a little different than those of her teammates. 

It all started when Tadrus was a kid. “The whole reason I started playing soccer in the first place was because we were driving to school one day in fourth grade and I saw a boy I liked playing soccer. I begged my mom to join. I loved it, my mom loved it, and I was good at it,” she said.

This seemingly whimsical decision catapulted Tadrus into what would become a lifetime of hard work, grit, and most importantly, fun.

In her hometown of Moberly, Missouri, Tadrus started her soccer career at nine years old, playing goalkeeper for a recreational league in the area, it wasn’t until she was in middle school and high school that she played striker and midfielder.

“My high school coach made me want to quit,” Tadrus stated. She explained how her experience on the high school soccer team was unsupportive, from both the coach and the players. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the entire soccer season her junior year. 

Fortunately, this disdain led her to join a club team: the Booneville Ravens. She shifted from playing wing to center back and to a more positive outlook on soccer once more. 

“My coach knew what he was talking about, he wasn’t just a volunteer parent. I made the hour-long drive four times a week because it gave me motivation,” Tadrus stated. She said the dynamic on this club team was a much-needed change from what she was used to. 

Unfortunately, this rediscovered passion was squandered once more when Marin graduated from Moberly High School in 2021. That fall, she attended Moberly Community College and received her associate’s degree in just a year. She was on track to graduate from the University of Missouri in only two more years when she transferred there the following fall. 

These plans changed when many of the credits she already acquired fell through in the transfer, ruining her plans to graduate early. At the University of Missouri, Tadrus was unable to play soccer and was already driving up to 470 miles almost every weekend to visit friends in Davenport, Iowa.

“It was hard (at the University of Missouri) because I didn’t get to play soccer. I missed it and my ability deteriorated. I had just accepted that I wouldn’t play competitively again.”

Tadrus says her boyfriend originally pushed her to try out for soccer at SAU. She states it’s a good thing he did because soccer at SAU gave her the opportunity to compete again.

“My favorite memory from this season was when we beat Clarke…we are really competitive with them and it can be anxiety-inducing, but really fulfilling and good for our team chemistry when we win,” Tadrus said, reminiscing on the most recent soccer season. The reserve team went on to play the Clarke College Pride three times in 2023 and tied the other two matchups. 

Tadrus will appear again on the soccer field in the 2024 fall season. While the schedule is not set, you can be sure of one thing: Marin Tadrus will bring her competitive, driven spirit to every game.